Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) chief Vellapally Natesan appears to be playing the argument that 'minorities are better off'.
In an event of the Samathwa Munnetta Yatra held in Ernakulam on Sunday, Natesann said, â€śIn Kozhikode one Naushad has died. The Chief Minister gave Rs 10 lakh compensation to his family and gave a job to his family member. So it is better to die as a Muslim in Kerala. If a Muslim or a Christian dies somewhere, a gang of ministers from Thiruvananthapuram will reach the spot. If someone from our community dies, not even a dog comes there.â€ť
Natesan was referring to the death of Naushad, an auto driver, who died on Thursday while attempting to save two contract labourers from Andhra Pradesh who had been hired by the Kozhikode Corporation to clean a gutter. The labourers lost consciousness and Naushad too became unconscious when he attempted to rescue them.
After the incident, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had announced a government job for Naushadâ€™s wife as compensation since he was the only earning member of the family.
Natesanâ€™s remarks about Naushad have triggered further criticism from his political opponents. Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president VM Sudheeran has alleged that Natesan has now become the Pravin Togadia of Kerala.
These come in the backdrop of the growing ties between the BJP and SNDP. Natesan had invited Vishweshwa Tirtha Swami, the seer of the Pejavar Mutt in Karnataka, to flag off the yatra in Kasargod district on November 23. He had announced that the yatra would end in Thiruvnanthapuram on December 6 with the formation of a political party.
Although the SNDP has not officially announced its tie-up with the BJP in Kerala, in the recent civic polls they informally collaborated in many constituencies. A collaboration between the BJP and SNDP in the 2016 Assembly elections is a possibility.
BJP leaders have been making overtures to Natesan and the SNDP for the past year. Political parties in the state have criticised Natesan for his growing closeness to the BJP, accusing him of betraying the ideals of Narayana Guru, a social reformer who belonged to the Ezhava caste and had advocate a casteless social order with a single god and single religion.